Pico Milluni, Cloudy Condors
Bolivia, Cordillera Real
On May 29, Pacifico Machaca (Bolivia) and I climbed what we think is a new line on the southwest face of the Pico Milluni ridgeline. After a two-hour approach, which at the end involved crossing a nasty boulderfield and then heading up a 50° snow slope, we began the route with two pitches of steep snow climbing that contained short sections of vertical ice. The third pitch was mixed. As I was rather new to this discipline at the time, I took off my crampons, stowed my ice axes, and climbed 12m of vertical granite (5c/6a) in my mountaineering boots. This turned out to be the crux of the route. We then climbed one more steep pitch on snow before reaching the crest of a ridge that led to a top just east of and 10-15m lower than the central summit (ca 5,500m) of Milluni (one pitch of 4c, followed by simul-climbing). We descended the south-southeast ridge to the gap before the southern top, and then made four 60m rappels down the large couloir on the southwest face. We were back at the car as night set in. We named the route Cloudy Condors (D), after the pair of condors we spotted as we reached the summit, just before the clouds rolled in.
Alexander von Ungern, Andean Ascents, Bolivia